The UK Foreign Office (FCO) is currently advising against all but essential international travel for an indefinite period. However, countries across Europe have begun to ease lockdown measures and border restrictions and prepare for the return of both domestic and international tourists. Today restaurants, bars, non-essential shops and museums are reopening in Italy and on 16 May prime minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree to allow foreign tourism to resume from 3 June. Portugal, Belgium, Denmark and Poland are also reopening food and drink outlets, shops and some attractions from today, with limited capacity and health and safety measures in place.
Reciprocal travel deals – as proposed in a leaked European Commission document on 12 May – may be struck between countries with similar coronavirus risk profiles. For example, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have formed a ‘travel bubble’ allowing movement between those countries. A similar idea was proposed by the UK’s transport secretary Grant Shapps on 18 May, whereby travel would be allowed to and from countries with an R-number – a key measure of transmission – below one to try to boost confidence in aviation travel. The so-called “air bridges” would permit re-entry without quarantine.